PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Kelvin Bwalya Fube says he expects President Edgar Lungu, as a lawyer, to respect the Constitution and understand that he cannot run for another term of office after being elected and sworn in twice.
And Fube says the reason why the United Party for National Development (UPND) has remained in opposition for over 20 years is because Zambians have no faith in their 10-point plan as the party cannot explain it properly.
Meanwhile, KBF says PF desperately want to enact Bill 10 because of clause 52 which gives the citizens the authority to challenge the eligibility of a Presidential candidate under a given timeframe.
Speaking when he featured on Christian Voice’s Chat Back programme, Tuesday, Fube insisted that President Lungu was not eligible to contest next year’s elections because he had already been sworn in as President twice.
“According to the law that I understand, according to the law that I have read and according to the history that I know about this country, President Edgar Lungu is disqualified. He is not eligible to run for office again. He has held office twice and that’s the end of the story. The term of an office bearer such as the President can never run independent of Parliament. The President and Parliament get dissolved at the same time; whether you come in the middle or you start together, you are dissolved at the same time. You cannot outlive the life of Parliament! The only organ [of government] that outlives the other is the judiciary. But these two (the executive and legislature) are tied together because the executive picks its Cabinet from the legislature. So these two run in tandem,” Fube explained.
“His Excellency Rupiah Banda was tied to the Parliament that he found running from 2006 when he came into office in 2008. That is why in 2011, he dissolved that Parliament. His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, elected in 2015 found a Parliament that run from 2011. His tenure was tied to that. Some people have argued that President Lungu did not hold office in 2015, but look, the Constitution we are discussing right now; the amendment number two of 2016, signed on the 5th of January in 2016 by this President, he signed it as whom? As President. Using which term? Let’s be serious, this is the President who was going to the United Nations (UN) to attend on behalf of Zambia. This is the President who went to the AU conventions and discussions as who? He went there as President. This is the same President who was elected as Chairperson of Troika and other regional issues, as who? As President of this country.”
Fube said the fact that President Lungu’s first term was short did not matter.
“Let’s not Pretend, he has held office twice; he was elected in 2015 and elected in 2016. The fact that his term is short is neither here nor there, has held office twice. That’s the catch here; he has been elected twice, sworn in twice, that’s the law. Article 106 is very clear that when you have been twice elected to the office of President, kwamana (you are done). You cannot run again. Kwamana (it’s over) for Lungu now That’s the position unfortunately my elder brother, the President finds himself. He can’t run for that office again. And I am sorry that people want to make it seem like it’s personal. It’s never personal, I campaigned for this man. I have nothing against President Edgar Lungu as an individual; I have nothing against him as a person. He’s a lawyer just like me and I expect him to respect the Constitution,” Fube said.
When asked if he was ready to work with opposition to bring about the desired change in the country, Fube said he was ready to work with anyone that had something sensible to contribute.
“You must be able to agree before you can actually decide to work with someone. In life if you are working with someone, you have to be like minds. Even the Bible does say that two cannot walk together unless they agree. The opposition [UPND] has remained in opposition for the last 20 years, if they were sensible enough; Zambians would have accepted them by now…all they have is a 10 point plan which they cannot even explain. I have personally released a book [Zambia Must Proper], where I have explained the transformation of this country. Has the opposition ever published such a book? I have never heard that they have, all I hear of is a 10 point plan. Even in that 10 point plan, they have not told us how [they would transform this country], it’s just a piece of paper. But in my book, I have explained how we are going to create employment; I have explained how we are going to create production cities to have five million jobs in 10 years,” he explained.
“I have also explained in my book how we are going to respect the rule of law and the supremacy of good governance. So the opposition you are talking about just speak anyhow that’s why they even lose elections. But for people who really want to work with even if they are in opposition, they should come with something to contribute positively so that Zambians can choose from among us who they want to lead them.”
And asked what his position on Constitution amendment Bill 10 of 2019, Fube said PF wanted to amend the Constitution before 2021 so as to make it impossible for citizens to challenge the eligibility of a Presidential candidate.
“I have not seen anything that Bill 10 can give the people of Zambia at the moment. I have read the 2016 amended Constitution from the first to the last page and I don’t believe that there is any mischief that is intended to be cured. There is nothing wrong with the 2016 amended Constitution that needs to be cured that requires Bill 10 to be passed urgently. We have more urgent and important issues that are threatening the lives of people like the coronavirus. So I don’t even see the reason why Parliament should be going to sit at night wasting time. Bill 10 is irrelevant at this point. But what I think is urgent for those pushing Bill 10 is clause 52. This is authority to challenge the eligibility of a Presidential candidate. So they want to remove it. But for me I won’t be blinded because I know the machinations of some of these people. If PF was very convinced they had the numbers, they were not going to adjourn Parliament. They would have insisted even up to midnight to vote, but they knew they were losing that battle because they didn’t have the numbers. So they withdrew tactfully. But they want to bring it back,” Fube said.
And commenting on failure by the President to fire or suspend ministers involved in corruption, Fube said this did not send a picture about the President’s commitment to fight corruption.
“I know from experience that whenever a civil servant is charged with a criminal offence, he receives a letter that he is on suspension and must leave the office so that he paves way for investigations and easy prosecution. There is no way that cannot apply to politicians, why? It’s the same standard that we must apply to politicians. What’s so special about politicians that we are failing to have the politicians sent on suspension or even being fired? After all its just an appointment. It’s the President who appoints a minister, he can just fire him. Because there is no way a minister accused of corruption can remain in office and you tell me he has no influence, he does. So if the appointing authority fails to discipline such a minister for me, the back stops with the President, what message is he sending to the people around?” wondered Fube.